Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

County News

Kevin Kirby, Key Cnty Employee, In Trouble Again Kirby's Claim of Earning a College Diploma – False 

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL –  Ten days ago, on March 3, 2016, the Observer reported that lost between the millions of Bascom Norris Bypass cost overruns and conflicting claims of Columbia County and Anderson Columbia Construction Inc. (ACCI) ($15 Mil Bascom Norris Bypass Project ... Common Sense or Cover Up ) was the revelation that the man, who took over the supervision of the job as it tumbled into turmoil, was the County's Public Works Director, Kevin Kirby, whose claim that he had an Associate's Degree from Lake City Community was false.

Kirby, Problematic from the Beginning

From the beginning, the hiring of former ACCI employee, Kevin Kirby, has been problematic for Columbia County.

At the time he was hired, Mr. Kirby claimed he was making $140,000 a year. (New Public Works Director Soon To Be Chosen The Interviews) This was not questioned. Mr. Kirby, who had no government experience, said he required $86,000 to start. The man he was replacing was earning $71,000 a year, while the most qualified candidate said he would start at $65k. (One Candidate Stood Above the Rest - One Question Gave It All Away)

As reported earlier, Mr. Kirby claimed he had an Associate's Degree on both his application and resume.

Mr. Kirby certified with his signature that the information he provided to the County was "true, complete, and correct."

Mr. Kirby certified he understood that if the information he provided was found to be "false, incomplete or misrepresented" it would be sufficient cause to result in his "immediate discharge [from the County] whenever it is discovered."

In big bold letters the County application stated the following: DO NOT SIGN UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THE ABOVE APPLICANT STATEMENT.

This was followed by, "I certify that I have read, fully understand and accept all terms of the foregoing Applicant Statement." His signature followed.

Kevin KirbyIn 2009, Mr. Kirby was charged with a misdemeanor.

In 2013, Mr. Kirby was arrested for a DUI. (Kirby DUI: Update and Videos)

He pleaded not guilty, then after many months and thousands of dollars expended by the State Attorney to prosecute him, he changed his mind at the 12th hour and decided he was guilty.

His license was suspended.  Even though he was required to have a valid driver's license for his job; violated County policies; and gave the County a black-eye, he was not terminated.

County Manager Ben Scott: The Kirby Affair

On Tuesday, March 9, your reporter sat down with County Manager Ben Scott to discuss the Kirby affair.

Your reporter began the conversation, "I'm here about the Kirby thing. Kirby affects every honest employee in the County. They sit down and fill out something truthfully -- it doesn't make a difference?"

County Manager Scott explained that he asked Mr. Kirby if he had a degree. He said Mr. Kirby told him, "I think I've got an AA degree."

According to Mr. Scott, he told Mr. Kirby there was an email from the college's Gayle Hunter that said they have no record of his receiving an AA degree. (Tumbling Into Turmoil: Kirby Takes Over)

Mr. Scott told your reporter that Mr. Kirby was out at the college investigating and that he was trying to find out "why his transcript did not reflect that he had an AA degree."

Mr. Scott said, "The College is debating it right now. I'm waiting on him to get me an answer from the college."

Your reporter asked, "The College is debating it?"

Mr. Scott replied, "Uh huh."

Your reporter asked, "Are you suggesting to me that he forgot to get his degree, but he wrote on his resume that he had a degree and now he's going down there to find out if he really has one and he's in negotiations? --- I'll tell you what -- I haven't spoken to one person that doesn't believe that he should be fired."

Mr. Scott responded, "You're assuming that Kevin Kirby lied."

Mr. Scott said he was giving Mr. Kirby some time to produce his degree.

Your reporter asked, "You don't think as County Manager you could call the head of the college and say -- listen, we have a hot situation, I need to know if this guy graduated or not and the guy wouldn't help you out?"

Mr. Scott replied that he "probably could do that," but he was waiting for an answer from Mr. Kirby.

Your reporter asked, "Would you do that with any other employee? Let them investigate first -- and then you would investigate?"

Mr. Scott replied, "I'm not asking him to do an investigation. I'm asking him to either prove to me or not that he's got a degree. I'm waiting for him to give me an answer and then I will do my investigation."

Your reporter asked, "What are you going to do if he doesn't come back with a diploma?"

Mr. Scott answered, "I'll have a decision to make." Then he said that he didn't think Mr. Kirby was going to produce a diploma.

Kirby's Remarks to the Print Media Don't Jive

According to the Sunday edition of the local print newspaper, Mr. Kirby was not able to produce a degree by Friday. The paper reported the following:

When asked if he wasn't suspicious that he never received a diploma, Kirby said he was busy at work and "never thought about it."

"I was working when I was going to school, and I just kept on working," he said.

Mr. Kirby's, "I was working when I was going to school, and I just kept on working," doesn’t' jive with the facts he presented when he applied for the job.

Mr. Kirby's resume states he graduated from Columbia County High School in 1990 and began attending Lake City Community College (LCCC) in 1990. He wrote that he received an Associate of Arts Degree and his career at LCCC ended in 1992.

His resume claims, as does his application, that he began working at Anderson Columbia in 1993. His resume shows no other employment and clearly does not show that he was working while he was going to school.

That appears to be something else Mr. Kirby forgot.


County Manager Ben Scott is meeting with the County 5, one at a time, this week, to review the Kirby situation.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On March 22, 2016, Columbia County resident Sandra Buck-Camp, wrote:

I have had opportunities to work for very large and small corporations and businesses both private as well as non-for-profit during my professional career.

On each and every application is the statement quoted in your article.  Upon signing each application is the caveat that the aforementioned information is accurate, etc. coupled with the clear statement that 'inaccurate or false information is immediate cause for termination'.

There is no proviso to amend or resubmit a corrected application or other opportunity to have inaccurate information investigated or adjusted.

I have no understanding why this standard of business operation is not upheld for Columbia County employees and all of its representatives.

Sandra E. Buck-Camp, RPh, CPh, FACA. Resident since 1989


On March 20, 2016, a Ft. White resident wrote:

The question of why Mr. Kirby would leave a job to take a job and a job paying about 40% less should be: did he really leave Anderson Columbia? How much work has been steered to them? How much money in additional costs have been paid? Why is the AG not investigating? Oh wait, she also has a good amount of dirt on her hands. Columbia County the laughing stock of Floriduh.


This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.